By: David Guzman
Nate Silver: “I Was Just Using You To Find Out Who You’d Be Voting For ‘ But Then I Fell For You”
Subject: Hey ‘
My dear Minnesota voter 5807 (or, Snuggie-Pie),
Before anything else, I have to come clean. Remember how I told you that I ‘m a statistician specializing in elections? Well, originally I only started dating you because I wanted to find out who you were going to vote for this November. You ‘re one of 100,000,000 voters I ‘m dating at the moment to give me the most accurate data set about the upcoming presidential election.
Now before you get too mad, please hear me out. I feel terrible about deceiving you. But the 2016 campaign has proven to have too many wildcards for me to rely on the typical methods of data collection. And I ‘ve been so right about the other elections, I felt like I couldn ‘t get this one wrong. So I decided to get close to every likely voter in the country and find out myself who they were voting for. And with my romantic prowess, combined with my efficiency as a statistician, I knew that dating tens of millions of people at once would be easy.
What I didn ‘t anticipate was falling in love with one of them. With you.
Yes, I wooed them just like I wooed you. I sent all of them chocolates laid out in a bar graph that displayed how popular each chocolate was. I told them impressive story of how I went from New York Times blogger to the bidding war over my website FiveThirtyEight.com. I went down on each one on the second date. Please believe me when I say they mean nothing to now!
Out of all one hundred million likely voters, you ‘re special to me: you ‘re the only one who wrinkles their nose when they sip through a straw and wears a coat even when it ‘s in the 70s (which I still think is silly!). And when you when you suggested I try an electoral college map that had Wisconsin going for Donald Trump, I knew then that we were more than pollster and piece of data. We were soulmates.
I know I was planning to break up with you once I found out who you were voting for. But knowing that you ‘re voting for Hillary isn ‘t enough for me. I want to know what ‘s in your heart.
I almost wasn ‘t even going to bring this up. But I calculated that there was a 78% chance that you felt the same way too. Then I factored in how much it might upset you that I was dishonest, and that brought the chances of you ever wanting to see me again to 55%. With 3 +/- margin of error, that still keeps things at over 50%. I usually like the odds to be much more than that, but I know now that love isn ‘t about being right.
Regardless of what you decide, I ‘m calling it off with all of the others. TODAY. I ‘m done with the life of a playboy political analyst. I ‘m sending them a mass email that ‘ll bcc you on. Because their voting choice doesn ‘t matter as much to me as it does
I still hope I get it right this November. However, if I get it wrong (and if I do, I know it won ‘t be by much), at least I know I ‘m not getting
Yours, Nate Silver
P.S. Before you say yes or no, full disclosure, I have a staggering number of venereal diseases.